July is coming to an end, and the average temperature, which accounts for both the temperatures during the day and night, in Death Valley has measured in at 108 degrees (Fahrenheit). There is still one day left of the month (July 31), so the average temperature may still change very slightly. Nevertheless, July 2018 in Death Valley is still on track to break the previous hottest month measured at any location in recorded history on Earth. The World Meteorological Organization will confirm this record after they review the data.
Just last year, this record was broken at the same location. July 2017 averaged at a temperature of 107. 4 degrees, which broke the previous, century-old record (records date back to 1917) of 107.2 degrees from the July of 1917.
This is a remarkable accomplishment for Death Valley, a city no stranger to the extreme heat. July is their hottest month of the year, and this year will end up being nearly 6 degrees above the average temperature of 102. 2 degrees.
Here’s a few impressive statistics about this July’s weather, courtesy of The Washington Post:
The high temperature hit at least 120 degrees on 20 days, sailing past the normal high of 116.5 degrees. From July 24 to 27, the high soared to 127 degrees setting records on each of those four dates. This mark was not far from the location’s highest reliable temperature measurement in recent decades of 129 set on June 30, 2013. The low temperature remained above 100 degrees on nine days.
Since Death Valley sits below sea level, there is greater extent to the atmosphere—282 feet to be exact. This allows for the air to further compress, enhancing the heat. It also happens to be situated in the middle of the desert Southwest, a dry and arid environment. When the sun’s rays reach the surface where us humans live, all of the energy goes into heating the air instead of some of it contributing to evaporation, as there is no water present.
This comes as the planet remains on track for one of the warmest years on record. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the year of 2018 is expected to be the fourth warmest year on record, falling behind 2015, 2016, and 2017, or the previous three years.